Monday, January 23, 2012



I stare at the empty houses and the disheveled streets- streets of tissue paper and battery operated candles- of glitter and of stringed lights- and though I expect the vacancy to make me sad, I feel a sense of cheery urgency instead. I glance over to the table, stripped all but for a vase of clean kept flowers- and then to the bare handrail and down to the bunches of shedding dried leaves all over the floor- like someone died, well no, actually not at all like someone died. More like someone went on a very important trip and had no time to pack.

I smile back at the empty houses, and let my mind wander behind the footsteps of a tired donkey carrying a tired mother and father with their tired newborn. I imagine the trail of swaddling clothes that were allowed to come off when they were caught on a hook and there was no time to unhook them- and then I imagine the visitors wondering at the haste with which a king of such great power could be running off- where did he have to go?? What did he have to do??

Ah and so then that is the answer I suppose- that's what it means when I feel like I didn't wrap the presents up carefully enough or I didn't relax or watch enough movies or play enough songs or prepare room like I said I would- I guess that's exactly what it means when I wake up tired every morning and long for the sound of bells awakening and putting me to sleep and the sleep, the sleeping in heavenly peace- I see why it cannot last. And it's eleven again and I know I've not done everything I needed to do today and the Christmas tree sits unlit. And yet when I close my eyes to the ordinary music- I see Him wink at me, with all the tender wit of Santa Clause and fathers and mothers and goodness, wink at me, and from under His shepherd's cloak He pulls out a piece of hay, (or maybe it was a Christmas tree branch)He says

See I didn't forget- I just had places I needed to go. And so do you.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Bird dunks his furry head in the water, blissfully shattering his mirror,
As you dye your grey one black, perfecting your reflection
(Or so you try.)
He spreads his wings in delight at their spreadability as you
Flap your fat arms on a lawn chair;
Hold up the tragedies of the world in plastic pages resting on your
Massive roll of
I gave up on life a long time ago.
Your other half lays in SPF and a saggy bikini hoping to safely darken her back, once passionately unstrapped; a back you never see anymore.
So you take her to a white-sanded beach where you might lay again as bride and groom (honeymoon suite)
Fully clothed by public perception, for better or for worse.

Strangers fly across the country for pretty views they don't even see.

The sea bird shakes the feathers of his skinny neck and struts proudly across a sinking sand.
Proud to be a sea bird and God's at that. Proud to be a member of the lovely, proud in all humility.
And every flight is an Upward miracle.

Yet you don't see him,
Mister real estate agent who hates his job, as you grimace into magazines about a world you don't really care about; you don't see
The loneliness beside you with her broken oiled wings (she knows not how to fly,)
Loneliness who you promised to love and honor all the days of your life.

I sip my smoothie loudly and after remembering it to be rude,
Sip all the more loudly for the chance to break their tired monotony I sip and laugh and run in the waters like the child they’d forgotten.

Monday, November 8, 2010


Slouched in a uniform chair,
I lean my head against moving boxes
People search through for cheap treasure,
Throwing papers about and turning heads in serious concern for now and next and now,
all in hurried succession,
linear, always linear.

A symphony of racket bounces around walls of grey
by fluorescence,
And plastic coats aesthetic in
The name of
Efficiency and Fitting In
Jeans that don't even fit.

Swipes and beeps and sloppy cleavage
Ask me if I'd like to donate to the cause of
How The Lord Hath Done Us Wrong,
And militant MEs shake their heads in disapproval, missing the, missing the
Ugly all around while

kneels amidst tears in a church far away,
Letting beauty transcend all its woes.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


I lay in bed, eyeing ideas to the ceiling. He bounces them back at me, just as I sent them. And in the silence and the darkness of everyone-else-is-sleeping, I realize how lonely is alone.

A little scientist, curious and alert, spins from telescope to table, recording and processing the data in his little lab coat, he prides himself on discovery.

“And what do you mean by this?”
“Ah, how interesting”
“But I don’t think that’s it.”
“That’s nonsense indeed.”
“Of course.”
He rambles on speaking to the worlds of worlds listening to him,
Or so he thinks.
Or maybe not thinks but acts as if, assumes,
Assumes the ceiling listens.

Assumes the ceiling listens,
Do I but soon to panic
When he doesn’t.

The little vials of premises fall to a shatter like a whisper in comparison with
The great silence.
A bat squeals in the night outside the laboratory.

There is no way outside.

“But see, I need to believe in God.”
They say, we, I, say.
Scoffs from the classroom…
But is it such a faulty argument?
Perhaps, indeed, it’s the best one.
The only one that really makes sense.
The only one abstract enough and yet concrete.
Practical and yet conceptual.
Experience tells us, and so does theory.
Our childhood and our reason.
Our tradition and our war banner.
I NEED to believe in God.
For every fiber of my being demands so.
What being am I really, without Him?


I lie in bed and bounce ideas off a ceiling who can’t hold me or say
Or laugh until it hurts our stomachs but we keep laughing because it’s worth the hurt,
I lie in bed and curse the ceiling for its inadequacy as I realize
I don’t want to be alone.

But people go to sleep.
They die.
They leave.
And I don’t want to be alone.


And premises mix in little torrents down the hallways
Looking to their matches for conclusions
As the scientist soaks his lab coat in tears.


So there, Dr. so and so and kid with the heart of complexes
Too wound up in complexes to rid themselves of each other,
I need God. Need Him.
And perhaps I have the greatest complex of all.
But it’s the only one worth having.
Totally paradoxical, and all the more lovely for that.
Small it makes me, infinitesimally,
And yet greater than the Earth combined.
Dust, but of God, I am.
The dust of God? No.
The handmaid of God,
His dust and His child,
Of His life and His death,
His reason, and His reason for needing not a reason,
So much smaller than His reason,
I am nothing like I Am,
And yet but for Him am I nothing.
He makes me.
Woven through the tales of magic and fairies,
He completes the picture,
Explains why Santa Clause wasn’t real and that he is,
Why we die and how we really don’t.
But for God, I’m all alone.


I panic as I get caught up in thoughts about my mind and how it runs about in crazy twists and turns and won’t slow down. I panic, as usual, when I’m restless and it’s night, and it’s late, and everyone else is sleeping. Wake up, please, someone?


The scientist with his broken spectacles hides under his table,
Covered up with stark cloths and buried in a tomb of machinery.
He would have died there,
Could have,
Should have died there long ago, you see,
If not for a tap on the shoulder.
A very deliberate tap it was, only the scientist had been frantically crying and yelling and protesting in his little world too loudly, too harshly to notice.

“Who are you??” he turned around sharply.
No one was there.
He wondered how someone got in his sealed-shut walls.
For he had demanded for years that he was it.

The little scientist stood up and cleared out his fort,
Looking frantically for who dared to have invaded his privacy.

But it was to no avail.
He had searched far and wide, used his special instruments, looked in the in between spaces and studied them thoroughly.

He was just about to give up when he felt another tap on the shoulder and heard a voice whisper ever so softly yet ever so LOUDLY, LOOK UP STUPID!!!

And it was then that the human being looked at its glass ceiling and saw what had begun so long before, when it had broken its little bottles in anger. A perfect conclusion pasted about in a mosaic. A mosaic of premises and far from premises—of photographs of trees and ants and grandchildren—of love notes and drawings done by five year olds—okay, no, premises indeed they were. The research of a life. Tears of joy ran down the face as the human stacked up its machines to climb to the beautiful, to the beautiful.

No, silly, not the pictures.


I lay in bed and I’m really restless and I’m frustrated because it’s late and there’s no one to talk to. I get to feeling kind of lonely in my little world. But then remember I’m not alone. No. Not. Ever. Alone.

So hey, God. It’s nice to know you never sleep.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


What a funny sight to see,
Sheep dressed in tuxedos,
Combing their hair and fretting about their
In a jumbled little line they play telephone,
Though to them it’s not at all a game—
Ordered by age and size and rank they
Pay heed to whoever is ahead
With unadulterated attention.
Turning in a dance of sorts
They keep straight faces
Too important to be laughing.
They introduce themselves
Introduce themselves
Introduce themselves
For what they’ve done and
What they’ll do
And dream to move ahead in
Ranks of “masters” and

Oh, yes.
(Hold your gasps and applause please.)

And dance they onward
Stepping, really,
Not dancing at all—
Out of rhythm,
Out of grace
But follow, that they do
Round about the worshipped space of
Nothing in between them—
Empty space, a world
Six feet wide
They cannot see beyond it.
With blinders on their eyes
They brag of insight nonexistent.
“Hey everyone look at me I’m such a rebel!”
They call to the leader ahead,
Tie their bowtie with such satisfaction,
As if it’s something new.
I watch them watch
I watch them copy
Watch them miss the sky above.
From the sixty year old professor
To the freshman just arrived.
Too proud they are, to be silly
And too meek they are to be wise.

In wishing of the mountain, they circle round the valley
And never see their circle only shrinks.
So they’ll glorify the ever-adolescent
Who neither child, nor adult, will cease to think.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


A happy poem can only come in Autumn
When death is in the air
And all of nature knows it.
That sweet and furious death
That winds its way through stable trees
Who may have thought them stable
And picks off summer's pleasures with her teeth.

A happy poem
Can only come in Autumn
When her cool air stings our noses
And we tend to forget to bring a sweater.

A happy poem
Is what I write in Autumn
For Autumn knows exactly how to kill
Whatever lies and misconceptions
Summer pasted over suntan lines
And smoke tinted windows.
Autumn knows what needs to die.

And sure, you'll write your love songs into May
And find that chirping birds inspire
And (fine I'll admit) I'll wish for warmth in early March.

but Autumn!!
Wakes me up with Christmas bells
And wraps me in a new stranger's embrace,
Suddenly not a stranger, not at all.
Surprises me as she coats this bare tree in
And whistles wind to songs I understand.
For I grew old and died along with summer's passing.
So long ago it doesn't phase me now
But I grow young amidst the open dying of
The breath of life I know will take me home.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


I grimace at the painting
How it falls short
Missing something
A stroke or color
Something’s off.
Like playing a keyboard instead of a piano
Or lukewarm bathwater he said
Who wants to be friends when there was so much more before?
I understand now

It almost fits, the puzzle it does
But almost fits means nothing at all really
You can’t force puzzle pieces or they’ll break.
You’ve got to find the right one.

Ahh but there are millions and millions and millions
Of little pieces of dust and specks and confused looks and glances
It’s almost right
The painting is almost the most beautiful thing in the world
But it isn’t.
And that “isn’t” throws the whole thing off.

But perhaps it is that missingness,
That endearing lack
Endearment only because of its attempt,
That turns the tragedy to comedy
Imperfections then are rather sweet, and
Sadness, rather irrelevant.
The problem of pain, then
Is no problem at all but instead,
A bizarre glitch on the radar
We haven’t found the right piece yet.

And so the Earth’s heart beats steadily onwards
Always a bit off tempo,
Bleeding with its heavy heaves it begs to be complete
Cries itself to sleep
But wakes in the morning laughing
At us and all we like to pretend to be.
Apparently it’s all been overcome.
So that we may laugh too?
When we rise from our strife and loss
In the depths of our loneliness
We wonder how we made it--
Make it--
Will make it
Through the night.

But the Earth turns round and smiles
With scratches on her face and wrinkles on her forehead
Years and years and life and death but
Just a sweet imitation
Her smile,
Just the only thing we know.
Half and incomplete
And we laugh together at the sun and moon and
Yes we dare to laugh at, with, the stars.
We laugh saying how silly it all is,
In knowing how silly it’s not.

We bury our hearts
When we bury our dead
In tears and hopes and dreams
And somehow walk away whole?
And keep walking?
Is it possible?
Is it possible,
That maybe,
Just perhaps,
We might be going somewhere?

We imitate to create
An imitation of an imitation
Of the most Beautiful Thing in the universe.

What a pretty painting, but comic really,
For we have yet to see the storehouses of the snow.